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Being a Christian is about following Jesus.
What are the key events in Jesus’ life?
Birth, Baptism, Temptation, Teaching and Healing, Death, Resurrection, Ascension
Following Jesus involves
Temptation, Teaching and Healing,
Death in Christ,
Resurrection to eternal life,
Ascension to heaven at our death
Baptism does not make you a Christian. We have to be born first! That’s what Jesus said in John 3. The birth happens when we receive Jesus John 1:14 or believe in Him John 3:16 or repent and turn to Him Acts 2:
Jesus was baptised so number one reason for being baptised is to follow him.
Some of the last words Jesus said on earth were these:
Matthew 28:18- 20
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
So the second reason to be baptised is that Jesus told us to.
It is clear that the disciples took him literally so in Acts 2:38-41 we read
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Baptism is not becoming a Christian but it follows directly on from it. It is not a second stage of the Christian life, it is a response to the love of God and a desire to follow Jesus. Throughout History, being baptised has been the hallmark of identifying yourself as a Christian, regardless of cultural background. People today will be baptised in special tanks in churches, rivers, swimming pools, the sea, even in a bath in a private house, wherever there is a suitable place to do it.
We have a purpose built tank under the main hall floor which we fill thigh deep in water.
The word baptism is a Greek word for immersing in water. The reason for this is that is represents what happened when you became a Christian.
Baptism has several meanings:
Obedience First it is an act of obedience to Jesus. He said baptise so we are baptised.
Identify Secondly we identify with him. He was baptised and we follow him by being baptised.
But in Romans 6 we get a bigger picture of this. Paul is arguing that becoming a Christian means that our lives will be different.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
So your baptism is a picture of what has happened to you. You die to your old life so we bury you in water, and are re-born to new life, so we raise you up out of the water. You are also reminding us that our salvation is based on Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Forgiveness Thirdly baptism is s ceremonial bath. It says that your sin is washed away just as you shower or bath to get clean. In this case it is a once and for all event as we are made clean because of Jesus’ death and resurrection which was a once and for all event.
Confession Fourthly you are going to do it publically, in front of friends and relatives which means the news will be out that you are a Christian. Faith is not visible until you do something to demonstrate it. You may believe the 114 will get you to Ruislip but until you get on the bus and prove it your faith is invisible. So being baptised does not replace faith is shows you have it.
Dedication Finally it is a moment in your life to dedicate your life to Jesus. You have a new life in Jesus, and you are called to live for him, In Romans 12:1-2 we read
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Although this does not directly refer to Baptism is reflects the same basic idea, you die to selfishness and offer yourself as a living transformed follower of him.Return to top